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Landlords still rule OK

Landlords are, seemingly, determined to pass the pain of the recession on to others. They have all the muscle needed. Hammerson, the property group, was accused last night of pushing Stylo, the owner of the Barratts shoe shop chain, into administration, putting 5,450 jobs at risk. Hammerson, whose assets include the Bullring centre in Birmingham, is understood to have led a rebellion by Stylo’s landlords that scuppered a proposed rescue package.

At a crunch meeting on Thursday night at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, at which the support of three quarters of creditors and landlords was required for the Company Volunatary Arrangement to go ahead, the proposals were voted down.

City sources said that at the meeting, attended by 200 people, Hammerson – which owns five properties occupied by Stylo – and Prudential’s property arm, which owns ten, had led opposition to the move. One said: “The views of a few powerful landlords have shafted the many – pensioners and employees – because they are worried about setting a precedent. Instead of everyone getting something, everyone’s got nothing. The landlords will now have empty premises. It is the ‘least best’ of all the options.

Read full article in The Times